Quassnoi
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Why are past tense verbs used as imperative at times ("пошел вон", "пошли пообедаем")?
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Long story short: Russian verb's features like aspect, tense, mood and voice cannot be always determined through morphological analysis. It's the feature characteristic of Russian verb. Most Russian ...

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Prepositions "в" and "во"
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Rosenthal et al., Справочник по правописанию, произношению, литературному редактированию, §199.9: В условиях контекста возможны дублеты типа в введении – во введении. Добавление гласного -о к ...

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What do I call a hit-and-run situation in Russian?
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The legalese for this would be оставление места ДТП. КоАП РФ, 12.27, п. 2 Оставление водителем в нарушение Правил дорожного движения места дорожно-транспортного происшествия, участником которого он ...

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What are the common responses to "как дела?"
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10 votes

Usually, как дела? is quite a formal greeting requiring a formal response. A common response would be ничего, нормально, adding a formal спасибо. This kind of greeting is, however, not appropriate to ...

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звонить в школу vs звонить школе?
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9 votes

Звонить + дат. means "to call someone". The object has to be animate. Я отдельно живу от отца, поэтому можешь звонить мне в любое время. [Андрей Геласимов. Жанна (2001)] Звонить + куда? ...

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Is there a shorter or more colloquial word for "pet"?
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9 votes

There is the word питомец (etymologically, "the one being fed"), but it has other meanings, it's less popular than домашнее животное, and, if anything, it's more bookish. In compound words, ...

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Are there Russian words for "close-minded" and "open-minded"?
9 votes

I think you might be looking for широкий взгляд and узкий взгляд: Вроде бы женщины в своих суждениях о морали придерживались более широких взглядов, чем мужчины, но до конца это не доказано. …а ...

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Etymology of "чёрта с два"
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9 votes

Russian has two similar constructs to express uncertainty about quantity: Swapping the numeral and the noun it modifies: У меня в кармане сто рублей // I have hundred rubles in my pocket У меня в ...

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Why do Russians call their women expensive ("дорогая")?
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Russians are people, and people like saying nice things to those they love, and comparing someone to something expensive (or, rather, precious) is a very nice thing to say. It's quite a common ...

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"You get the picture"
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9 votes

I have to type in 30 characters before I can write Ну ты понял

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Asking to take photos in Russian
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9 votes

It's можно вас сфотографировать? Фотографировать is Russian for "photographing", "taking a picture", and it has a direct object in accusative, so there is not need to recourse to ...

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In Russian, how do you say "shall we say, graduated" euphemistically?
9 votes

Я, скажем так, переболел хакерством This verb is usually applied to childhood infections like chickenpox or rubella which before the advent of vaccines most kids got early in their lives and once it ...

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"Опыт" vs "переживание"
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9 votes

Переживание (literally, "living-through") is quite a set way to translate the English phrase "emotional experience". I can't think of any other way for it to be used to translate "experience" outside ...

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Is there ever a time when one uses по́ле to refer to the floor?
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Sure, with any preposition except в or на: … богатым было и внутреннее убранство церкви: старики упоминали о паркетном поле и хрустальном паникадиле При наливном поле она (демпферная лента) ...

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Why Lomonosov calls Russian language "российский"?
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Россия is a hellenized form of the native Russian word Русь. It was first attested in XIV century and had since been for some time a part of grand style rhetoric (высокий штиль), the one Lomonosov ...

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What is the use of the soft sign in front of (soft-indicating) vowels, in words like "компьютеры" and "пьёт"?
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9 votes

A soft or hard sign before a vowel indicates the palatal approximant [j]. This is the first sound in the English word "year" which makes it distinct from "ear". Russian words лёд "ice" and льёт "(he) ...

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What does фирменный поезд mean
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9 votes

How would you translate: "Это фирменный поезд."? "The firms train"? or privately owned train company. I'd translate it as "premium train service" or "luxury train service" (or, literally, "signature ...

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Noun case and plurality
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9 votes

First, a side note: unlike most other languages, you don't use имею in Russian unless there's a reason to. See this question: Иметь vs у меня for physical things In your case, you say У меня ...

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Провели широкую рекламу
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9 votes

That's most probably a misuse of мы провели широкую рекламную кампанию which means "we've conducted a broad advertising campaign". Synecdoches like this (реклама "advertising" instead of рекламная ...

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Слово должен в значении другом чем "should"
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9 votes

This passage might mean something like that: I've been taking care of your friend, and look at him now, back on his feet. But none owes me anything. So what, was it me who owed everyone? Russian ...

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Писать местоимение "вы" с малой или большой буквы?
9 votes

Rosenthal, 28: С прописной буквы пишутся местоимения Вы и Ваш для выражения вежливого обращения к одному лицу, например: Прошу Вас, уважаемый Сергей Петрович… При обращении к нескольким лицам ...

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What does «наяву» mean?
9 votes

This is an adverb meaning "in reality", as opposed to во сне ("in one's dream"), в бреду ("in one's delirium") etc. Я часто говорю с ним во сне, но никогда наяву / I often talk to him in my dreams, ...

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When "кде" became "где"?
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9 votes

After the fall of the reduced, къде became кде which then turned into где trough vocalization of the voiceless. къде is used in the gramotas (788, dated 1180-1200), где in several Old Russian texts ...

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Только три процента всей воды на Земле явля(Е/Ю)тся пресной
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9 votes

In this case the following rule would apply (Rosenthal et al., №184.2): Форма единственного числа сказуемого указывает на совокупность предметов, форма множественного числа – на отдельные предметы. ...

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Is there a [b] or a [p] in "Египет"?
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9 votes

I hear a [b] and not a [p] in both available sound files. Am I hearing it correctly? I've made a spectrogram of the first phrase in Praat: The vowels and vocal consonants are clearly distinguished ...

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Как лучше всего перевести «user experience»?
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9 votes

Garrett's book title is translated into Russian as Веб-дизайн: элементы опыта взаимодействия. It's quite an ugly calque in my opinion however it had rooted in the Russian web design argot. Another ...

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What is the difference between "героизм" and "геройство"
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9 votes

Until recently, the two were synonyms, however, now their meanings diverged a little. Героизм is real heroic behavior or act, геройство is showing off. The latter may also be used ironically. Compare: ...

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Why "подруга", not "друга"
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9 votes

Подруга is a derivative of подружиться, compare полюбовница, побратим etc. This prefix is not productive for forming feminine in Russian so this is just an ad hoc form. CS for this word would be ...

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What is the understanding of Church Slavonic among Russian native speakers?
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Not sure if it answers your question, though. Russian has borrowed very much from CS, and CS was influenced by Russian too (though to much lesser extent of course). There two aspects in ...

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Words in "common gender"
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9 votes

In Vinogradov's Русский язык, there is a whole chapter (§7) about this phenomenon: Яркая экспрессивная окраска, свойственная почти всем словам общего рода, подчеркивается несоответствием их ...

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